Halfway to Jerusalem
By Frank Chesser
Jehoram was the ninth king to wield the scepter over the northern kingdom of Israel. His parents, Ahab and Jezebel, had saturated the nation with the worship of Baal. Refusing to match their excess in sin, Jehoram removed Baalism as the state religion. "Nevertheless, he cleaved unto the sins of Jereboam the son of Nebat which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom" (2 Kings 3:3). He removed one evil, but retained the other. Tragically, he only returned halfway to Jerusalem.
The Roman ecclesiastical system is a humanly devised religion. No institution has done more to blind the minds of men to the simplicity of New Testament Christianity. The Protestant Reformation was an effort to move back in the direction of Jerusalem. Lamentably, they never made it. Reformation is only halfway between corruption and restoration.
Jerusalem symbolizes purity in faith and practice. "For the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:2). Jerusalem marked the commencement point of the proclamation of repentance and remission of sins in the name of Christ (Luke 24:47). The apostles were to bear witness of the risen Christ first in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8). Thus, by divine decree, New Testament Christianity was inaugurated in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
There is "one body" (Eph. 4:4). That body is the church (Eph. 1:2223). The gospel is God's only power to save (Rom. 1:16). Those who go to their grave without obeying the gospel, go into eternity without hope (2 Thess. 1:79). There are as many saved people outside the church as there are saved people who have never contacted the blood of Christ by obeying the gospel of Christ.
Catholicism and denominationalism are monumental evils. They are mindblinding obstructions on the road back to Jerusalem. May we never be satisfied with anything less than the old Jerusalem gospel and the church it produces.